Cemetery Resources

The Historical Society recognizes the invaluable role that cemeteries play in genealogical research and preservation of our region's history. Our extensive cemetery resources include detailed listings of gravesites across numerous cemeteries, transcriptions of worn or damaged headstones, and mapped locations to assist in navigating even the most overgrown or forgotten burial grounds. Cemeteries offer a wealth of information for family historians, from birth and death dates that fill gaps in the family tree, to revealing clues about ancestral origins, occupations, military service and more through meticulously carved epitaphs and gravestone iconography. Cemetery research can uncover the stories behind these sacred grounds and the devoted individuals who have served as their caretakers over generations. Whether just beginning your genealogical journey or continuing years of dedicated research, cemeteries can provide a rich source for uncovering your family's roots in our community.

Access to Cemeteries Located on Private Property
Virginia Code 57-27.1

Virginia law requires that landowners allow access to cemeteries on private property for the purpose of visitation by family members/descendants or plot owners, and for genealogical research. You must give reasonable notice and abide by any restrictions the landowner may place upon frequency, hours, and duration of access. This does not provide a right to drive on the property to get to the cemetery unless there is a road or adequate right-of-way that permits access.

The Association for Gravestone Studies

The Association for Gravestone Studies promotes the study of gravestones from historical and artistic perspectives, expands public awareness of the significance of historic grave markers, and encourages individuals and groups to record and preserve gravestones.

Headstone Cleaning Kit

In response to recent inquiries, the Historical Society has put together a headstone cleaning kit. The kit has been assembled by our resident expert on cemeteries and headstones, Charlie Barnette, who has extensive experience in the repair and restoration of cemetery monuments. The kit contains a one quart spray bottle of D/2 Biological Solution, a brush, a pair of gloves, two toothbrushes, two picking sticks, and an instruction sheet. The price is $55 per kit plus tax. Since this is a limited offering to test member interest, it is currently available as an in-house sale at the library. You can stop by the library to pick it up. At this point we aren't offering the kit as an online purchase but if you would like to place an order by phone, please call the office at 276-623-8337 or send an email to office@hswcv.org. If you need the kit shipped then you will need to contact us before buying the kit to work out the details and shipping costs. Also, if you would like to discuss how to use the kit with Charlie, please contact him by email at brisbotls@hotmail.com We are excited about this new offering and hope there will be enough interest to keep the kit in stock.

Selected Washington County Cemeteries

Among the hundreds of cemeteries located in Washington County, the Historical Society has curated a selection that may be of research interest for visitors and residents alike. These highlighted cemeteries represent a cross-section of our region's diverse history and cultures. Each cemetery in this list offers a unique glimpse into the hopes, hardships, and daily lives of those who came before us. Genealogists will find a treasure trove of primary source material in the gravestones' inscriptions and iconology. History enthusiasts can observe how memorial practices evolved over time. And for visitors, these cemeteries provide an opportunity to respectfully wander where our ancestors tread and experience a profound connection to the past.